Thursday, January 19, 2012
What should my heart rate be during exercise?
Richard Weil, MEd, CDE, recommends calculating your target heart rate with a formula called the "heart rate reserve" method. Use a watch with a second hand to keep track of how many times your heart beats per minute. You can feel your heartbeat at the underside of your wrist or along the side of your neck.
Here's how to use the formula:
• Determine your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220.
• Then, subtract your resting heart rate (it's best to take this when you first wake up in the morning) from your Maximum Heart Rate to find your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR).
• Multiply your HRR by the percentage of your MHR at which you wish to train (60% to 85% is the usual range for people looking to increase fitness and health).
• Add your resting heart rate back to that result to get your target rate.
So, assuming an age of 27, a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute, and a desired training range of 70%, the calculation would look like this:
220 - 27 = 193
193 - 70 = 123
123 x .70% = 86
86 + 70 = 156
Remember, this is an estimate, not an absolute. Also keep in mind that athletes may exceed the training zone, and even the maximum heart rate, during high-intensity training.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Where do I start if I have never exercised?
If you're new to exercise, or have struggled with it in the past, talk with your doctor about your exercise plans. After that, start by incorporating more activity into your daily life. For instance:
• If you always take the elevator, try the stairs.
• If you try to park next to the door of wherever you're going, park farther away and walk.
• If your habit is to eat at your desk, take a 10- to 20-minute walk first, then have your lunch (or take a walk after you eat).
• Instead of watching TV all day Saturday and Sunday, plan active weekends. Go to the park, take a walking tour, ride your bike, or row a boat.
Whichever plan you decide on, it's a good idea to set weekly goals:
• Write down what activity you plan to do, on what day of the week, for how long, and at what time of day. Be as specific and realistic as possible. For instance, write down "Tuesday: Walk for 20 minutes at 7 p.m., to the park and back."
• At the end of each week, review your goals and set new ones for the upcoming week. Research shows that setting goals will help you stick to your program. It will clarify what you're supposed to do and let you track your progress. If you hit a roadblock later on, you can refer back to what has worked in the past, or use your accomplishments to re-energize yourself.
Monday, January 16, 2012
How much exercise should I do?
In addition to the National Academies' Institute of Medicine's recommendation of 60 minutes of daily exercise to prevent weight gain, there are two other major U.S. guidelines for how much physical activity you need:
• The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a five- to 10-minute warm-up and then 30 to 45 minutes of continuous aerobic activity (such as swimming, biking, walking, dancing, or jogging) three to five times a week, with a stretch and cool down period in the last five to 10 minutes. The ACSM also recommends weight training: at least one set (eight to 12 repetitions) each of eight to 10 different exercises, targeting the body's major muscle groups.
• The surgeon general recommends accumulating 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (hard enough to leave you feeling "warm and slightly out of breath") on most, if not all, days of the week. You can do it in two bouts of 15 minutes, three bouts of 10 minutes, or one bout of 30 minutes. This recommendation emphasizes incorporating activity into your daily life -- walking instead of taking the bus, parking your car farther from the mall and walking across the parking lot, taking stairs instead of the elevator, and washing your car by hand.
If your ready to "BRING IT", then you will "BRING IT" for 60min - 90min at 110%!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, January 13, 2012
Should I hold off on weight training until I lose weight?
Absolutely not. Lifting weights will not only help you lose weight, but maintain the loss. Here's why:
• Muscle keeps your metabolism revved up, burning calories, fat, and glucose (sugar).
• When you lose weight, up to 25% of the loss may come from muscle, resulting in a slower metabolism. Weight lifting will help preserve or rebuild any muscle you lose by dieting.
• Muscle helps you with aerobic exercise. The stronger you are, the better you will be at any aerobic activity.
• Weight training improves your body's muscle-to-fat ratio (you end up with less body fat and more muscle), which improves both your health and your fitness level.
• Gaining muscle will help you look better as you define and tone your physique.
• Building strength helps you feel good about yourself. Although the scale may show a slight weight gain when you start lifting weights (usually five pounds or less), you probably won't look heavier because the gain is in muscle, and your clothes may even fit more loosely.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
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